3 Portland officers on desk duty over misconduct allegations

PORTLAND, OR - SEPTEMBER 5: Portland police officers charge past a man on crutches while dispersing a protest against racial injustice and police brutality early in the morning on September 5, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Friday night marked the 99th ni

At least three Portland police officers have been removed from patrol and protest duties while investigations proceed into whether they engaged in misconduct against protesters, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Wheeler ordered officers be placed on administrative duty starting last week, including one seen on video tackling and repeatedly punching a protester in the face, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Wheeler’s chief of staff Kristin Dennis said she didn’t know exactly how many officers were placed on desk duty but said they will likely remain in that status until reviews by the police bureau’s internal affairs unit and the city’s Independent Police Review are complete.

The action comes after an Aug. 26 news conference during which Wheeler said he planned to meet with Police Bureau leaders to get their suggestions on how to hold officers accountable for apparent acts of misconduct during nightly protests “in real time.” Protests against police brutality and systemic racism have happened in the city for more than 100 days.

Also on Wednesday, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said nine people have been charged in connection with alleged criminal activity during the protests. Accusations include punching an officer, pushing an officer and throwing a wooden shield at an officer in separate incidents, the District Attorney’s Office said. Another person threw a lit incendiary device at state police, according to the district attorney.

Most face felony riot charges. Other charges include interfering with a peace officer, attempted assault of a public safety officer, harassment, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and felon in possession of a firearm.